Carnivores play a key role in a healthy ecosystem: New study from Princeton researchers provides hope that degraded ecosystems can recover upon the reintroduction of large carnivores.

Major problem here in the Netherlands as well. The absence of wolves combined with hunters failing to reach their culling goals has led to a major rise in our red deer population. As a result of this, the natural regeneration of deciduous trees has been reduced to almost nothing in a huge area (basically the entirety of De Veluwe). Meanwhile, forest managers’ calls to reduce the deer population are ignored by policy makers. They are just happy to have a high animal visibility, and refuse to acknowledge the lack of natural regeneration. The limited older deciduous stands that we have are now starting to decay, with no new trees to fill the gaps. IMO it’s one of the biggest challenges we’re currently facing in Dutch forest management right now, and nobody is talking about it.

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